Saturday, 15 July 2017

Come on BBC, what about The Dame June Whitfield Story?

I blogged earlier in the week that Channel 5 would be broadcasting a documentary called The Barbara Windsor Story (which went out last night) on the lead up to Dame Babs turning 80 years young. This got me thinking. Isn't it about time that someone chronicled the life of Dame June Whitfield? I think so - so come on BBC, let's have the Dame June Story!

I know June Whitfield has been lauded and celebrated in many ways during her long and successful career in the acting profession, however her well-deserved and long overdue Damehood suggests it's time for a new television special looking at the life and career of the lovely June. June has been on our radio airwaves, our television screens, our cinema screens and in the nation's theatres for eight decades now and is still active in the business in her 92nd year. June has worked with so many wonderful, talented comedy actors and comedians from the post-war era, through the satire boom and heady days of British comedy and light entertainment and on to alternative comedy and the modern day.

I know there is a certain amount of rewarding June because she is still around while many of her contemporaries have passed on to the big comedy society in the sky, however the length, depth and breadth of her career marks out June from the rest. June has been involved in so many of our classic, fondly remembered comedy moments, from Tony Hancock's blood donor sketch to clowning around in the back gardens of suburbia with Terry Scott; from Eric Morecambe's comedy shorts to Carry On Girls' prim and proper Augusta Prodworthy; from Jennifer Saunders' bonkers, light-fingered mother in Absolutely Fabulous to the cheeky, bottom-pinching pensioner in Doctor Who. 

Who else around today or indeed ever can claim to have worked with both Wilfred Pickles AND Julian Clary? 


Many comedy talents wouldn't be around today if it wasn't for performers like Dame June Whitfield. She led the way, doing what she did, competently, patiently, with skill and talent while egos and attitudes around her peaked and troughed. June has lived through a fascinating period in our history, growing up between the two World Wars, learning her craft during the blitz and the air raids, making her way at the BBC at a time when men with Bryl Cream and pipes ruled the roost and yet through all that, she could still quite easily be your friend's nan or the sweet lady down the road. 

So how's about setting aside some time on the BBC for The Dame June Whitfield Story? What do you think?


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